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April 29th, 2016

RMS Gets Award, OwnCloud Founder Resigns & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Also: Ubuntu gets ready for Yakkety Yak (don’t talk back), Tails has a new release with an updated TOR browser and Android apps are coming to a Chromebook near you.

Here in the Tar Heel State, MerleFest, featuring performances by John Prine and John Oates sans Daryl Hall, dominates the news. That’s mainly because there are no college hoops being played now that this year’s NCAA March Madness thing has been entered into the record books.

There’s not much talk about this year’s NCAA tourney around here anymore, as “we’re number two” just doesn’t have the proper ring to it. So we talk about other things instead, with how fast the grass is growing topping most people’s list and MerleFest a close second.

Me? I talk about FOSS, and there’s plenty to talk about this week…

Richard Stallman LibrePlanet 2012.

Richard Stallman at LibrePlanet 2012.
By Melikamp (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Like Richard M. Stallman receiving Software System Award from the Association of Computing Machinery, better known as ACM.

According to ACM, the award is handed out each year “to an institution or individual(s) recognized for developing a software system that has had a lasting influence, reflected in contributions to concepts, in commercial acceptance, or both.” The award comes with a $35,000 prize and is financially support by IBM.

Stallman was awarded the prize “for the development and leadership of GCC (GNU Compiler Collection), which has enabled extensive software and hardware innovation, and has been a lynchpin of the free software movement.”

Also this week, after six years, OwnCloud founder Frank Karlitschek has resigned. In a public letter he explained: “Without sharing too much, there are some moral questions popping up for me. Who owns the community? Who owns ownCloud itself? And what matters more, short term money or long term responsibility and growth? Is ownCloud just another company or do we also have to answer to the hundreds of volunteers who contribute and make it what it is today?

“These questions brought me to the very tough decisions: I have decided to leave my own company today. Yes, I handed in my resignation and will no longer work for ownCloud, Inc.”

He’ll still be sticking around, however. “I am the ownCloud project lead until the community says otherwise.”

Quote of the week: On Thursday, FOSS Force published a video of a weather map being obstructed by an “upgrade to Windows 10” nag screen during a live morning news broadcast in Iowa. When our post showed up on Reddit, a Redditor with the username DannyB made this comment:

“Clippy: It looks like you are trying to give a weather report. Could I help you to:
* Upgrade to Windows 10 right Now?
* Upgrade to Windows 10 Later on?
* Enhance the colors of your weather maps?
* Embarrass you, your station and network on live TV?”

No doubt, yesterday wasn’t a good day to be a Microsoft PR person.

Another day, another distro: This has been another of those weeks when we see that there are more ways to be a Linux distro than there used to be. On Tuesday Tails or The Amnesic Incognito Live System released version 2.3 of the distro that is focused on preserving privacy and anonymity. It comes with Tor Browser 5.5, Electrum Bitcoin wallet 2.5.4 and I2P, which allows messages to be sent pseudonymously and securely, version 0.9.25. Installation help is available by using the Tails Installation Assistant.

Additionally, this week saw the release of Chromium OS for Raspberry Pi 3 version 0.5 which can be downloaded from the project’s download page.

Quick takes: According to Katie Collins at CNET, Google’s Chrome OS and Android are inching closer together, seeking to reach their own “convergence,” which is exactly the opposite of what Canonical has in mind when using the word. In an article published Monday, Collins reports that we might soon be seeing Android apps running on Chromebooks. Shades of Windows 8 and Metro.… The FOSS multi-platform home theater software Kodi is out with version 16.1. This is primarily a maintenance release to fix some bugs that were introduced in 16.0.

Parting shot: If you’re like me, you’re probably tired right about now of all the FOSS coverage of Ubuntu’s release of version 16.04, followed by the “me too” releases of all the baby *buntus. Don’t expect Ubuntu to drop from the news anytime soon, however. Ubuntu 16.10, Yakkety Yak, is already in the works, scheduled to be released on October 20, 2016.

That does it for this week. Until next time, may the FOSS be with you…

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

1 comment to RMS Gets Award, OwnCloud Founder Resigns & More…

  • John Kerr

    Hi

    There is some script on this page that is crashing my Firefox 46.0 browser. It works fine in Chrome.